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Title: Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #8)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 4/5
# pages: 814
Date read: July, 2014

In June of 1778, the world turns upside-down. The British army withdraws from Philadelphia, George Washington prepares to move from Valley Forge in pursuit, and Jamie Fraser comes back from the dead to discover that his best friend has married Jamie's wife. The ninth Earl of Ellesmere discovers to his horror that he is in fact the illegitimate son of the newly-resurrected Jamie Fraser (a rebel _and_ a Scottish criminal!) and Jamie's nephew Ian Murray discovers that his new-found cousin has an eye for Ian's Quaker betrothed.

Meanwhile, Claire Fraser deals with an asthmatic duke, Benedict Arnold, and the fear that one of her husbands may have murdered the other. And in the 20th century, Jamie and Claire's daughter Brianna is thinking that things are probably easier in the 18th century: her son has been kidnapped, her husband has disappeared into the past, and she's facing a vicious criminal with nothing but a stapler in her hand. Fortunately, her daughter has a miniature cricket bat and her mother's pragmatism.

It took a while to get started, and some of the events in the first 200'ish pages really bugged me... (e.g. the fact that it took 150 pages for Claire and Jamie to get together! And that Roger traveled for no apparent reason of course), but once it took off, it took off with a vengeance, and I read the last 400 pages in 2 days.

But it is a testament to Gabaldon's writing that even though it took awhile for the plot to line up with my expectations of the plot, I never once considered giving up on it. She would benefit from having a more strict editor though... some of her detours didn't seem altogether necessary.

I loved that - despite everything - Gabaldon was less harsh on her darlings in this book than in many of the previous ones. No, life wasn't easy, but it did serve as a bit of a breather compared to e.g. Fiery Cross.

Did she tie up the loose ends from the last book in a satisfying way? Yes, I think she did. Did she leave me wanting more? Absolutely! Granted, it didn't end with a cliffhanger the way An Echo in the Bone did, but it did leave me thinking "Ooooooh!!! I want to know what happens next!!!" ... but in a good way :) I loved the way it ended :)

In the end, I think this has been her best book in awhile. I thought #7 better than #5 and 6, and I found this better than #7! So that's saying something, at least :) According to her website, this is the penultimate book... we'll see :)


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